noah’s daughter-in-laws

I want to share something with you that I have been contemplating recently. I have been contemplating it for several months — almost since I write the post about internet husbands. I have been contemplating this as I have gained another year of life, as I have seen friends marry and have children, and as I am still here…..waiting.

See, as I write this blog, I write with the purpose to encourage all of you who read this in the Lord. I want the words I write to act as a magnet, bringing you to the Scriptures, causing you to study for yourself. I want the lessons the Lord has taught me to be documented, to be shared with others, in a way that will glorify Him. Yes, I have some fun posts on here — posts like “Pray for the Bus“, “Randomness“, and a few others — life shouldn’t be all seriousness. We should laugh once in a while, especially when things are falling apart around us :D And sometimes the most encouraging thing we can do is to be honest with each other. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, as all of us most likely know by now.

So, in an effort to encourage you, I need to say something very discouraging: I’m like other people I know — girls and guys alike — who have told me this numerous times, echoing my own thoughts. I know almost no one I would be willing to enter into a relationship with at this point in my life. And this realization hits like a brick wall when well-meaning folks ask about my relationship status. Or when my parents are questioned as to why their children aren’t married yet. Or when I realize that I am growing older, not younger, and want a houseful of little children running around someday. Now, I realize this doesn’t sound so very encouraging — because it’s not. Unless it’s in the fact that a multitude of people I know would echo this and sigh a big sigh of relief when they realize that they aren’t the only ones who are thinking this.

Now, before continuing on with this, I need to say something: I’m not your typical girl. I want to get married, yes. In the plans I have laid for myself, marriage is a part of my life. But this isn’t a topic I dwell on much. Mainly because I know God has it all in His hand, and I know if it is His plan for me to marry, He will bring me a spouse, in His own time. But some days can be hard, and the struggle can be real.

In one way, this is good. I’m not struggling with thoughts of guys, with so called “crushes”, with worrying who is going to notice me when.

But in another way, it can be hard.

So, with all the preliminaries laid down, and you thinking that this whole marriage business is an utter disaster that will never happen, let me bring to your mind three men and three women who have encouraged me greatly in this whole “single-and-still-waiting” thing. These are the three women I look to when the going gets rough, and the rough gets worse.

These three remarkable women are unnamed in the Scripture, but what is stated about the men they have married says a lot about their character and they are. They are introduced to us in Genesis 7:13: “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark….” That is pretty much the only mention we have of these three women, and that is how we know them — as Noah’s daughter-in-laws; as the wives of his sons.

But these obscure women encourage me greatly….because of the times they lived in and because of what the Lord says about the state of society when they were living. And if we think we have it rough, not knowing anyone to commit our lives to, think about these women. Admittedly, we don’t know much about them, but what we can glean from the little we know of them can be an immense encouragement to our hearts.

In Genesis 6:5, we read where “God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Later in the chapter, we read where Noah and his family were the only faithful people on the earth.

So, here are three girls. Waiting on marriage. And from what we know of Noah’s family, we can probably be assured those boys wouldn’t have married just whoever, that the girls they married and brought into their families must also be believers in Yahweh. We don’t know if the girls’ families were believers or not, although I wouldn’t think so, since the only people found righteous in Gods sight were Noah and his family. And if we think we have it bad, at least most of us have family to encourage us and back us up — these girls most likely had no one. Granted, women had a different status in Bible times than they do today, and they had less say in who they married — but those girls, if they were worthy of being counted in Noah’s family as righteous, probably were praying very hard for Yaweh to bring them husbands who were godly and righteous before Him.

And so they waited and stayed faithful to the Lord through the days of evil and wickedness, when a woman’s worth was found in marriage and bearing children for her husbands family. And something about these girls caught the eye of Noah or one of his sons, ’cause the way I understand it, Noah and his sons were facing ridicule and scorn from those around them because of building an ark in the middle of a desert for years, and there’s no way a sane father would have approached a man he viewed as crazy for his daughter to marry — unless the man also viewed his daughter as being just as crazy. So Noah approaches the girls father, who agrees to this marriage, because who else is going to marry his daughter? Maybe she was faithful to the Lord and the family viewed her as crazy. Maybe she was older, passed her youth, and her family just wanted to get rid of her…..or maybe her father approached Noah about the marriage because he couldn’t fathom who else would marry his daughter.

And this happened three. different. times.

Now, granted, we don’t know if all three of these girls were related or not. We don’t know how old they were. But we can assume that they didn’t follow the cultural norm for the day, they didn’t participate in all the sin around them, and they were different from their families, or their families would have also ended up on the ark with Noah’s family.

So, have you found the encouragement in these three women and men yet? I’m sure those girls despaired of ever getting married. I’m sure they saw friends marrying and wondered what would happen if they let go of their pristine notions of right and wrong and just went with the flow and found men and settled down. And I’m sure they faced more than we single gals do today — when our worth isn’t measured in how many sons we have born. And yet they were faithful, as is apparent by who they married, and in their being saved from the devastation of the flood.

And think of Noah’s sons — of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. I’m sure they wondered if they would ever find a woman worthy of being called their wife. I’m sure they wondered if they would ever marry because of the sin around them, of the taunts they faced daily from those around them. I’m sure they looked at that ark, built n the middle of sand, and wondered if they would just walk away, would they then find a wife? Because a mark of a man, back then, was having sons to inherit after him.

And so these young people remained faithful to the individual tasks God had given them, stayed busy, and the Lord blessed their efforts and brought them to each other, at the perfect timing that only He could have orchestrated…..and we could learn much of their example.

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7 comments

  1. Liberty says:

    Kaitlyn, thanks for another great and thought-provoking piece, as usual! I’m currently in the same (single, with no prospects in sight) boat as you, and it really encourages me that there are other girls with the faith to wait on the Lord. Hope you had a great weekend! :D

    Blessings,
    Liberty

  2. Bekah says:

    Thank you for being so candid and honest on this blog. I was greatly encouraged by it. To be honest, I never really gave much thought to Noah’s daughters-in-law, but I will definitely be giving it much more thought after this. Thank you for faithfully sharing what the Lord has placed upon your heart.

    -Bekah

    • Kaitlyn S. says:

      I hadn’t really thought about Noah’s daughters-in-laws either, until the other day — it always amazes me how the Lord can you show you something new in Scripture, even in something you have read and heard again and again and again :D And normally it is so applicable to what I am struggling with at that moment! The Lord’s faithfulness to teach us shouldn’t amaze me, but it does every time!

  3. Jonathan Character says:

    “We should laugh once in a while, especially when things are falling apart around us :D And sometimes the most encouraging thing we can do is to be honest with each other. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, as all of us most likely know by now.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Especially “and sometimes the most encouraging thing we can do is to be honest with each other.” I can attest to the disgust that comes from learning that someone isn’t who they put on. It’s sickening. And thus we need to make a conscious effort to be candid with each other. We need to make it a point to initiate those unpleasant conversations, knowing that if we don’t those issues will pop up later and the results can/will be ugly.

    I’d even extend this just to friendships, asking people straight up what they think. Being yourself is so liberating I can’t describe it. Encourage others to be themselves. Encourage them to tell you when you’re aggravating them rather than just “putting up” with it. There is so much damage that happens because we aren’t willing to be honest and are too concerned about other’s opinions of us. After all, how will they grow if you they don’t know where they are failing?

    Be willing to be vulnerable with your struggles. If you aren’t your friends will have no way of helping you. And that’s what friends are for anyway. Sure, this might mean you can’t have as many friends as you do. Challenge yourself on that. Make sure you are being responsible with the friendships you have and pouring the grace of God into their lives every chance you have. Friendship can become diluted when stretched too far. Make sure you aren’t shortchanging your “friends”. Obviously that line has much variability based on the person, the situation, etc.

    About laughing, ah …. :) Chesterton has the best stuff on biblical mirth, what he calls “divine frivolity”. I can’t do justice to him, so just read some of his stuff. Orthodoxy is gold.

    The rest of the post: interesting. It is obviously largely conjecture, but you did a good job bringing the point across. As a guy I can’t relate totally to the feelings but I appreciated the conclusions. Trust is so hard and yet so sweet.

    • Kaitlyn S. says:

      It was interesting to me, also =) I’m always amazed at how the Lord is faithful to show us new things in Scripture that is are so applicable to our struggles, even in those portions that are familiar to us.

What are your thoughts?